Labour System

Labour System

Increasing incomes by improving access to better paying wage employment

The burgeoning labour supply in Addis Ababa is far outpacing job creation, and this gap continues to widen due to increasing urban migration. However, despite chronic unemployment overall, there are specific jobs for which the supply of labour is not effectively addressing demand. While this could equate to employment opportunities for poor women and youth, these groups face systemic disadvantages in accessing jobs compared to other groups.

Critical Constraints

We identified critical constraints with the greatest potential for sustainable change and impact at scale

Lack of appropriate and effective labour exchange infrastructure for the target group to access job information and job matching

Lack of pro-poor childcare options to enable women to participate in the workforce

Employers’ lack of trust and perception of risk related to youth who don’t have accepted forms of verification such as ID, certifications, and references

Intervention Focus areas

We are focused on the following intervention areas to address the critical constraints

Innovative solutions to improve access to job information for the target group such as appropriately located digital job boards, mobile technology, and call centres

Development of physical and online platforms to improve domestic and overseas job matching for low- and semi-skilled workers

New models to reduce childcare costs and increase women’s participation in the workforce such as use of surplus public space, public private partnerships, and franchise models

Policy and regulation reform to create an enabling environment for pro-poor childcare services

Alternative ways to verify identity, skills, and trustworthiness for employment such as KYC (Know Your Customer), third-party skills testing, and mechanisms to build institutional trust

New insurance mechanisms to alleviate employer risk concerns such as employer liability insurance and employment bonds

System Lead: Mercy Corps

Other focus systems

Micro & small
enterprise (mse)

Reducing barriers to business entry and growth and stimulating innovation

Medium & large
enterprise (mle)

Creating more and higher paying jobs through growth of medium and large manufacturers


Improving skills development to unlock wage and self-employment opportunities